East Side Voices
‘A dazzling and joyous celebration’ i-D
‘A wonderful book – so timely and much needed. I loved the collection and I hope everyone will read it’ Elif Shafak
In this bold, first-of-its kind collection, East Side Voices invites us to explore a dazzling spectrum of experience from the East and Southeast Asian diaspora living in Britain today.
Showcasing original essays and poetry from well-known celebrities, prize-winning literary stars and exciting new writers, East Side Voices takes us many places: from the frontlines of the NHS in the midst of the Covid pandemic, to the set of a Harry Potter film, from a bustling London restaurant to a spirit festival in Myanmar. In the process we navigate the legacies of family history, racial identity, assimilation and difference.
Edited by Helena Lee, founder of the East Side Voices cultural salon and Acting Deputy Editor of Harper’s Bazaar. Featuring writing from: Romalyn Ante, Tash Aw, June Bellebono, Gemma Chan, Mary Jean Chan, Catherine Cho, Tuyen Do, Will Harris, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Claire Kohda, Katie Leung, Amy Poon, Naomi Shimada, Anna Sulan Masing, Sharlene Teo, Zing Tsjeng and Andrew Wong.
‘Dazzling… The strength of this slim collection is in its nuance’ Bidisha, Observer
‘Invaluable and delightful’ Esquire
Dazzling... The strength of this slim collection is in its nuance... East Side Voices is a thoughtful, painful reminder of the grand narratives that get buried under belittling stereotypes, of how progress can also regress and how self-actualisation, self-discovery and personal excellence still grate against the perceptions of strangers. -- Bidisha * Observer * In East Side Voices, the first anthology of its kind, writers of East and Southeast Asian descent and diaspora in the UK reflect on identity, community and family. Coming after an especially traumatic few years for ESEA communities, East Side Voices is a dazzling and joyous celebration. -- Katie Goh * i-D * A wonderful book - so timely and much needed. I loved the collection and I hope everyone will read it. -- Elif Shafak (November 2021) This collection is illuminating, funny, sad, and reveals aspects of Britain that for too long have not been addressed. This is the first but hopefully not the last assemblage of Asian and Southeast Asian writers discussing their experiences of life in Britain. It is an important book and a cracking read. * Herald * Varied and thought-provoking... Invaluable and delightful * Esquire * A strong, compelling, and quietly beautiful collection of stories that have gone untold for too long, from voices that have too often been sidelined from the artistic mainstream. -- Jonathan Liew (November 2021) (An) illuminating essay collection...Contributions to the collection are wide-ranging in form and scope but always affecting. * New Statesman * A terrific read. It's going to be very important in all the debates around the ever-changing political and cultural life in this country. -- Lubaina Himid (November 2021) Never has a book roused such a swelling of pride in my chest to be a part of the Asian diaspora living in Britain today... Scintillating * Refinery29 * Excellent... An important addition to the growing literature of contemporary identity and cultural politics. -- Matthew d'Ancona * Tortoise * This important book, which is full of wit and insight, sheds light on aspects of racism that are often overlooked and it offers welcome exposure for a collection of voices that are too often sidelined from the cultural mainstream. -- Martin Chilton * Independent * East Side Voices expands the reader's understanding of today's Britain and its makeup. Often moving, the writers share generously with the readers their hopes and fears. It is worth listening. * The Scotsman * This first-of-its-kind anthology edited by founder of the East Side Voices cultural salon and acting deputy editor of Harper's Bazaar, Helena Lee, explores and celebrates East and Southeast Asian identity in Britain. With contributions from actors, novelists and poets, among others, this riveting and important book covers themes of family history, racial identity, assimilation and difference. * Red * Illuminating... For all readers - not just ESEA people - this book is a fantastic insight into the experiences of what it means to be ESEA in a country that has by and large overlooked us. May East Side Voices be the first of many works dedicated to our peoples, our cultures, our struggles, and our triumphs. * besea.n (Britain's East and South East Asian Network) * At times humorous and gripping, heart-breaking and urgent, this is a collection that feels both timely and much-needed - one that made me feel seen, and that gave me hope for what is to come -- Cecile Pin * Bad Form * Powerful * TLS *
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